Vice President Joe Biden’s statement last week that the GOP’s reluctance to pass the White House’s jobs bill would lead to an increase in rapes and murders was considered outrageous by many — though some found his comments spot on.
Biden didn’t back away from his words on Sunday’s broadcast of CNN’s “State of the Union.” According to the vice president, it’s an issue of simple math.
“Here’s what my point is — it is a fact, ever since I wrote the crime bill 20 years ago, we’ve put to rest the notion that if you have more cops, there’s less crime,” Biden said. “When you drastically cut the number of police in cities, which is happening all across America, crime goes up. That is a fact. Now, they either are going to figure out how to help those cities the way we want to help them, or some other way. But if they don’t get help, crime is going to continue go up. It’s that simple. It’s not an ideological point — it’s not a political point, it’s just a physical reality.”
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Many news outlets have called Biden’s numbers erroneous. Yet he explained why getting the numbers wrong didn’t diminish the importance of getting more funding for law enforcement.
“Well, that’s true, but the crime rate — but you didn’t have the emasculation,” Biden said. “They’ve laid off over 15,000 cops — 10,000 in the last 18 months. And in Flint, Mich., in Camden, N.J., their police forces are cut by almost half. And, look, there’s a cycle here. What happens is when the economy tanks, when foreclosures increase exponentially, when homes get abandoned, drug outfits move in, arsons go up, way up … and that drives down property costs, that causes a spiral, that drives down revenue available for the cities and counties. They lay off more cops. The more cops that are laid off, the more that occurs. So the question is, we won’t we have an answer. What’s their answer? Or do they think the federal government has no obligation? I respect it if they think that. But the truth is, we can fix this problem now.”
Biden went on to say that the GOP and Democrats simply have a different “value set.”
“It’s a little bit like saying we had a major flood — they may say — some of them, well, I say, ‘No, no, no, that’s not the federal government’s responsibility,’ or, ‘If you do that, we ought to cut their aid to education or something,’” Biden said. “We just have a different value set, that’s all.”
Later in the interview, Biden told CNN he would evaluate a 2016 presidential run when the time comes.
“I have not [ruled out a 2016 presidential run],” Biden said. “My one focus now is getting the president reelected. That is the focus. And I’ll make up my mind on that later. I’m in a one of the — probably the best shape I’ve been in my life. I’m doing pretty well. I’m enjoying what I’m doing. And as long as I do, I’m going to continue to do it. And we’ll find out, you know, let’s get the president reelected.”